Author Topic: Little Black Egg  (Read 410002 times)

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buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1025 on: February 27, 2011, 07:16:05 PM »
Skyno, If you want to install a stone in the lid here is the method I recommend. Invert the lid and lay the stone down centered. Mark four equal locations 3/8" away from the rim of the stone. Drill four 1/4" holes and using bolts and nuts with 1/4" large area, sometimes called fender, washers tighten snugly only. The washers will hold the stone in place This method insures you don't have to drill the stone and risk cracking. If you find you don't like it, it's easy to plug the hole with a short bolt and nut.
Don


Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1026 on: February 27, 2011, 07:29:35 PM »
Thanks a lot for your replies!  For my lid I used the good-ol' inverted ash-catcher technique, but I put a few small chunks of quarry tile evenly scattered in the "bowl" part of the catcher and secured w/ some HD foil before attaching it to the lid - my thought was that this may add a little heat retention to the ceiling w/out having to add all the weight of a whole stone - of course it's hard to tell if this really did anything, but the top seems to be cooking nicely so far.

To answer your ? Don, the reason I didn't just go directly on the firebrick is that I wasn't impressed w/ the crust results I got compared to the quarry tile in the conventional oven - maybe it would be different in the LBE?  

I have already cracked a few cheapo pizza stones in conventional ovens so I figured these wouldn't stand a chance in the LBE - so far my trusty $1 unglazed quarry tile has held up in many conventional oven bakes and a whopping 2 bakes in my new LBE - can't imagine it will last, but I guess you never know.

Here is my report on test pie #2:

While I was waiting for the pros to respond, I tried a a simple approach - I wrapped a grill from an old smoker, which was about 16", w/ HD foil and cutout a small circle approx. where the center of my 10-11" pie will sit w/ the idea that the air space of just having the grate there will insulate a bit overall and then the layer of foil will insulate just a bit more around the edges, resulting in relatively more heat to the center of the pie - then I just set the 1 quarry tile on top of that and let er' rip.  

I noticed it heated up faster w/out the firebrick and, while I still have a lot of tweaking to do, I was fairly happy w/ the result but I still need more char - I am wondering how long a grill wrapped in HD foil alone will last as a buffer though?

On a tangent, I toyed w/ the idea of trying to make my old 16" smoker into an LBE - this thing is like a tank and would probably have some serious insulating properties, but I don't have any tools that will cut through this thing!

Thanks again!

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1027 on: February 27, 2011, 08:24:04 PM »
Skyno, in that last pic am I seeing a gum line?
don

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1028 on: February 27, 2011, 09:57:25 PM »
Skyno, if you have a chance post a picture of the inside of the lid.  Thanks.
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Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1029 on: February 28, 2011, 01:29:21 AM »
Good one Don! - that pic does kind of resemble Jabba-The-Hut's tongue!

Here are a couple of pics that may help elucidate what I attempted to do to control the heat flow:

I was too lazy to remove the ash-catcher that I bolted on to the underside of the lip but if you removed it and looked at the concave surface facing the lid, you would see a layer of HD foil covering about 4 chunks of quarry tile - again, the hope was that this may radiate a bit of heat from the ceiling.

The "diffuser" is just a smaller grill wrapped in HD foil w/ a circular window cutout to allow more heat through the center - I put a quarry tile right on top of this and cook on this surface - it still needs work but I think it's heading in the right direction - gets better on each round and I'm getting a better feel for the hot spots.

Offline pizzablogger

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1030 on: March 01, 2011, 06:23:28 PM »
About burners.

Is too much burner heat overkill?

Bayou Classic SP-10 = 185,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp10_propane_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Kick A Banjo = 210,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/kab4_banjo_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Double Jet = 180,000 BTU @ 20psi, but mentions the potential to run @30 or 40psi, which could be monster BTUs
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp40-bayou-classic-double-jet-propane-burner.htm

Would center point hotspotting be hard to control with a monster burner? If I wanted to have the option of cranking out a 90 second to 2 min Neapolitan pie, more heat would be a good thing I would imagine.

Any thoughts from you LBE warriors? Thanks.
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1031 on: March 01, 2011, 06:40:42 PM »
About burners.

Is too much burner heat overkill?

Bayou Classic SP-10 = 185,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp10_propane_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Kick A Banjo = 210,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/kab4_banjo_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Double Jet = 180,000 BTU @ 20psi, but mentions the potential to run @30 or 40psi, which could be monster BTUs
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp40-bayou-classic-double-jet-propane-burner.htm

Would center point hotspotting be hard to control with a monster burner? If I wanted to have the option of cranking out a 90 second to 2 min Neapolitan pie, more heat would be a good thing I would imagine.

Any thoughts from you LBE warriors? Thanks.

Pizzablogger,

I have the SP-10 in my 18.5" LBE and that thing gets hot. I mean seriously hot. I don't know what size you have or are contemplating building but I'd stick with a 50,000 BTU Bayou burner. It provides plenty of heat and is easier to control.

Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

buceriasdon

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1032 on: March 01, 2011, 06:50:01 PM »
I second Mike's recommendation. 50,000 is more than enough.
Don

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1033 on: March 01, 2011, 07:30:35 PM »
About burners.

Is too much burner heat overkill?

Bayou Classic SP-10 = 185,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp10_propane_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Kick A Banjo = 210,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/kab4_banjo_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Double Jet = 180,000 BTU @ 20psi, but mentions the potential to run @30 or 40psi, which could be monster BTUs
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp40-bayou-classic-double-jet-propane-burner.htm

Would center point hotspotting be hard to control with a monster burner? If I wanted to have the option of cranking out a 90 second to 2 min Neapolitan pie, more heat would be a good thing I would imagine.

Any thoughts from you LBE warriors? Thanks.

I have this one: http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sq14_propane_burner.htm
Square High Pressure Propane Burner
Item #:  SQ14
55K BTU

It's heating a 22" Weber Kettle LBE and works just fine. If i had more heat, I think I'd be burning a lot of pies.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 07:33:27 PM by Ronzo »
Fuggheddabowdit!

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Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1034 on: March 02, 2011, 12:18:35 AM »
Update:

Just fired up my LBE for the 6th time and the $1 unglazed quarry tile finally started to crack - I figured it was just a matter of time - it's still usable & I managed to cook a pie on it, but I guess that answers the question of it's longevity in an LBE - it had survived many rounds in the oven clean cycle

In case anyone is curious, I've found my "diffuser" of HD foil wrapped around a 16" grill with a hole in the middle to be a pretty good and simple way to manage heat levels - at least underneath this thick quarry tile - it seems to provide the right amount of buffering to allow for an even cook in about 3.5 minutes - a layer of firebrick under a tile or 2 tiles was just too much of a buffer - we'll see if it works when I get a proper stone

Here is a pic of a basic pie cooking on my setup - you can see the heat in the background - I only let this dough rise for an hour or so in a warm environment (usually I allow for several days of a cold rise) - I finally purchased some buffalo moz though after testing things out w/ some cheap moz. - tasted ok but the crust wasn't great - Lesson: can't rush the dough - sorry for the poor quality pic - only had my phone handy

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1035 on: March 02, 2011, 12:25:04 AM »
The grate you're using will eventually bow and cup because it's not made to handle the heat put out by the burner. You might want to look into getting a charcoal grate to use as your base for the stone, and also buy some firebrick to put on top of your grate.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
http://newtexianbrew.com - http://pinterest.com/NewTexianBrew

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1036 on: March 02, 2011, 12:34:53 AM »
I agree with Ron.

I'd recommend a heavy-duty porcelain-coated grate or better yet, a steel plate, which most small metal shops should be able to cut to your specifications.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1037 on: March 02, 2011, 01:47:07 AM »
Thanks for the tips guys - do the metal shops typically sell the steel plate material or do I need to buy it elsewhere & bring it in?  or where can I pick up a charcoal grate that will be the correct size?  does weber sell it?

Thanks a ton in advanced!

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1038 on: March 02, 2011, 01:56:33 AM »
I agree with Ron.

I'd recommend a heavy-duty porcelain-coated grate or better yet, a steel plate, which most small metal shops should be able to cut to your specifications.

The plate will be my next upgrade. Need to find a shop local that can do it. 1/4" thick seem about right?
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
http://newtexianbrew.com - http://pinterest.com/NewTexianBrew

Online Mmmph

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1039 on: March 02, 2011, 02:01:55 PM »
About burners.

Is too much burner heat overkill?

Bayou Classic SP-10 = 185,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp10_propane_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Kick A Banjo = 210,000 BTU
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/kab4_banjo_burner.htm

Bayou Classic Double Jet = 180,000 BTU @ 20psi, but mentions the potential to run @30 or 40psi, which could be monster BTUs
http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/sp40-bayou-classic-double-jet-propane-burner.htm

Would center point hotspotting be hard to control with a monster burner? If I wanted to have the option of cranking out a 90 second to 2 min Neapolitan pie, more heat would be a good thing I would imagine.

Any thoughts from you LBE warriors? Thanks.


I bought the Bayou Classic SP-10. At 185,000 BTU...It's a freaking rocket. Sounds like a jet plane when cranked. Plenty of heat and my guests love the sound (Or is it the beer?). Even at it's lowest seting, my stone hits 600 degrees+. I use a 10 inch round cast iron griddle, with the handle hacksawed off, as my heat diffuser directly above the burner. Works great!

If I find the the stone is getting too hot, I just lift the lid and set it back down at a rakish angle, a la Frank Sinatra's fedora, to allow some of the heat to bleed off into the atmosphere.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 05:36:11 PM by Mmmph »
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Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1040 on: March 02, 2011, 03:53:08 PM »
The plate will be my next upgrade. Need to find a shop local that can do it. 1/4" thick seem about right?

1/4" is what I have installed. Works great.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline Essen1

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1041 on: March 02, 2011, 03:53:59 PM »
Thanks for the tips guys - do the metal shops typically sell the steel plate material or do I need to buy it elsewhere & bring it in?  or where can I pick up a charcoal grate that will be the correct size?  does weber sell it?

Thanks a ton in advanced!

They should sell the plate to you. Most have something like that in stock. Ask for some scrap metal plates.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein


Offline bernie516

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1042 on: March 03, 2011, 05:54:48 PM »
I'm looking to make my frist LBE sometime this week, what are your thoughts on the American Metal Craft Pizza Stones?  Thinking abouting us two of them stacked on top of each other... here's a link:

http://www.webstaurantstore.com/american-metalcraft-stone15-15-round-ceramic-pizza-baking-stone/124STONE15.html

Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1043 on: March 03, 2011, 08:10:00 PM »
Bernie

I would definitely look for a higher end and probably thicker stone - I bought this exact stone from this exact site b/c of the low price and good reviews - it never even made it past the conventional oven to get it "warmed up"  for the LBE (no pun intended) - cracked in half on the second bake at about 550 - if it can't even handle a regular oven, it definitely won't last in the LBE - I tried to use the 2 halves as a buffer on the LBE and it cracked further

I'm still looking for the ideal stone and got some suggestions a few pages back, but I haven't made a purchase yet - still using my old $1 unglazed quarry tile which just recently started to crack as well

Let's keep each other informed on what we find in our stone research

Take care

LJ

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1044 on: March 03, 2011, 08:54:38 PM »
I'm still looking for the ideal stone and got some suggestions a few pages back, but I haven't made a purchase yet....


I highly recommend the Primo pizza stone.  They are made in several sizes.  I use it on the 10 stone that I built here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11402.0.html

It takes all the heat that I throw at it.  Also, several times the rotisserie motor has quit when I was indoors.  The burner blasts the stone in one small spot and it gets very, very hot.  Google around for the best price on the size that you need. Good luck.

This is an example: http://www.fredsmusicandbbq.com/PRIMO_GRILLS_PRIMO_PIZZA_BAKING_STONE_FOR_OVAL_J_p/pripr340.htm 
I have no relationship with freds music and bbq, but he seems to run a stand-up operation.

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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1045 on: March 03, 2011, 09:06:06 PM »
This is the stone that I use only b/c I have a Primo ceramic grill.  That aside, it is light weight for it's size and was told by the manufacturer that they are kiln fired around 2000F.  So no worries about it taking the heat.   I have also removed it from an 800F primo grill and set it on concrete outside without it cracking from thermal shock.   Don't ask me why I did that, but it can handle the stress.   The side that is not glazed can dust off if scratched or rub against a hard object.   

Chau

Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg - some advice please!
« Reply #1046 on: March 04, 2011, 12:30:51 AM »
I'm really trying to hone my LBE game - this is about my 7th bake and if somebody can advise me on what I can do to really elevate my pies, I would really appreciate it.

Overall, I'm pretty happy w/ my results & still delicious, but I'm consistently getting too much char on the rim of the my crusts while all other areas of the pie could use just a bit more char.

Here's my technique:

1. LBE w/ SP-10 - gradually preheat for about 15 min. until stone is about 600; above the burner is only the main grate, a 16" grate wrapped in foil w/ a hole punctured through the middle & the cooking stone on top of that - the lid is an ash catcher as shown & described as I posted in the middle of the page here:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4753.1020.html

2. Use a fairly high-hydration dough w/ a slow 2-6 day cold ferment from San Francisco wild starter - no sugar / oil - bring all ingredients to room temp

3. Cook for 3-4 minutes (average of 3.5) turning about 2-3 times throughout

If I crank the heat a bit more, the center on both the top and bottom comes out perfect but the crust rim on the top is overdone & I'm not sure how to solve it since I seem to need more heat on both top & bottom but only in the center & not on the periphery

Any tips / ideas / comments?  Thanks again in advanced!  If anyone can diagnose this, it's you guys because I've seen some beautiful results!

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1047 on: March 04, 2011, 12:45:55 AM »
Dude, the char looks great!  I wouldn't change anything about the look personally.  Maybe 30sec less if you want less char.  Your coloring is balanced.

Chau

Offline skyno

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1048 on: March 04, 2011, 01:39:52 AM »
Dude, the char looks great!  I wouldn't change anything about the look personally.  Maybe 30sec less if you want less char.  Your coloring is balanced.

Chau

Thanks Chau - that's really good to hear! - I guess that I should have mentioned that it is also the taste - for my taste, it seems like the center of the pizza should be cooked just a bit more & it would be right where I want it to be, but I'm not sure how I would achieve this localization in cooking though

Here's another example in the middle of a turn where I also accidentally broke the egg in the middle - too aggressive on the turn I guess - I feel that the middle could use a bit more cooking but the edges are pretty much ready

Maybe if I turned down the burner a little during the cooking process that this may slow the stream of hot air coming over the top and maybe reduce the hotspots on the rim? Or would this just cook the center even less?

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Little Black Egg
« Reply #1049 on: March 04, 2011, 02:09:20 AM »
Skyno, I think I misunderstood you earlier.  I thought you wanted more heat to the bottom center crust.   You are talking about more heat to the top center of the pie correct? 

If so, you may try getting the pie closer to the lid ash catcher dome as that portion will catch more of the heat radiating off of the plate.  You may consider switching to a stone up above in the lid if you aren't doing that already.  I believe there are also some posts  (towards the beginning of this thread) about adding insulation inside the ash catcher or up in the dome of the lid.  That may also solve your problem.   

Yes, I think lowering your heat output overall may give the top of the pie more cooking time but that may also lengthen your overall bake time which may give a different crust texturally.

Chau